Arsenal – Do You Remember The First Time?

Written by Jamie

Arsenal vs Manchester City (H) 3-1 (Attendance:21,604)
28th October 1986 – League Cup 3rd Round Tie

Rocastle, Hayes(pen), P Davis

Lukic, V Anderson, Sansom, S Williams, O’Leary, Adams, Rocastle, P Davis, Quinn (Allinson), P Groves, Hayes

I asked if I could write a guest article for Arsenal Arsenal. I then thought about it. What do you write about in the closed season?

I had two things to avoid.

1) I could talk about transfers? I don’t know about you but speculation doesn’t do anything for my nerves even if I do think that this might be a good summer for the Arsenal.

2) Avoid embarrassing typos. I noticed on a recent post that I suggested that Haines wouldn’t be a bad replacement for Clichy should he not re-sign. It might be a bit late for that.

So I decided on a nostalgia piece to open a debate on the first game you ever saw. Was it really the way you remember it?

In 1986 I was six years old, I had three sisters. I think my Father had begun to worry that I was going native. I remember sitting with my elder sisters attempting to drive the toy A Team truck over one of their favourite toys and my Father’s head popped around the door “your mother wants a word” he said, in that stern way that your boss talks to you if you are about to be made redundant.

Through my youth he would often ask my mother to discharge news I wasn’t going to like.

I entered the living room and my mother delivered the news “Your father wants to take you to a football game”. This was a latest of many ill fated attempts to get me a hobby, which included board games, an Atari games console and most bizarre of all stamp collecting.

Two weeks later my father took me to the game. Just the two of us, which to be honest would be a rarity over the next twenty years as Sisters, Cousins, Grandads and an Uncle just to mention a few would all make regular appearances on my Saturday afternoons and Wednesday nights. He bought me a scarf and a badge and sat me in the back row of the East Stand. My father looked at home at Arsenal and loved being back with his hero of the 1971 double team in charge.

It seemed too dark to watch football and a long way from the pitch. I was way behind the crowd’s reaction for every piece of action and missed most of the game. I was looking around obsessed by the amount of people in one place. It seemed packed, but the record books show it wasn’t as you can see from the attendance above.

I know that Martin Hayes played well, he scored a penalty. I missed how he won it and him scoring it. I remember Rocky being Rocky and a remember thinking that Niall Quinn looked like he had about as much of a clue as I did.

My father later recalled that this was not one of Quinn’s better nights in the number nine shirt. Big Niall always had more of an idea with Charlie Nicholas alongside him.

One thing I couldn’t have missed that night, nobody could, was Arsenal’s physical superiority. They were bigger, faster and hungrier than the opposition and at the start of a long run that would eventually lift this great old club out of a bleak period in their history. A period of course of which I knew nothing back then.

That physical superiority would be evident over the next few years as Arsenal were often dominant. As the team got older they learned how to win, how to close out games, they added craft to the graft. They knew how to comeback, sometimes with second halves where goals would fly in. Arsenal often scored more League goals in the Graham years than in the years where our football was apparently socially acceptable. We scored 72 this year.

1989 = 73 Goals
1991 = 74 Goals
1992 =81 Goals

Second halves were a must see. Especially from 89-92. No opponent too tough, no deficit too big. Adams, Thomas, Rocastle, to which Winterburn, Dixon and Smith were added and of course magic Merson. Titles followed.

Despite the off the field antics of which there were too many to recount, these were the heroes that you should grow up with. These are the people that got you in to football. These are the players that define us. My father incidentally feels the same about the 1971 Double side. We should all have heroes like that.

So my parents got me in to football and thank god they did!

It has been there every step of my life since and it was certainly more exciting than stamp collecting.

On the way home that night, my father played House of the Rising Sun on the car stereo. I had never heard anything like it. Bands with Guitars would form the other part of my youth. All in all, it was a good night’s work.

135 Responses to Arsenal – Do You Remember The First Time?

  1. Rasp says:

    We are delighted to introduce Jamie as a new writer on AA with today’s post. He contacted the site as he is in the process of writing a book about about Arsenal in the form of a chronicle over the course of next season and wanted to see how bloggers would react to his ideas.

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp morning,
    No-one has announced the New Post on yesterday. I have been sitting there like a zombie.

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Absolutely love it, and this is just so funny: ” he would often ask my mother to discharge news I wasn’t going to like. I entered the living room and my mother delivered the news “Your father wants to take you to a football game”.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I hope you keep us up to date with progress on your book.

  5. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, it’s this bloody new WordPress format, you push the ‘Post Comment’ button and sometimes it doesn’t go?

  6. Rasp says:

    Beyond the obvious nostalgia element, the article makes some important points about our physical superiority in those days and the misconception that we didn’t score many goals.

  7. WiganGooner says:

    Its a great read, very nostalgic and brought back many happy memories.

    Welcome to the site Jamie.


  8. WiganGooner says:

    On a cheeky side-note, I’ve published a fresh one today myself 🙂



  9. chas says:

    Brilliant, Jamie. Good luck with the book.

    Brought back a couple of memories of my own first trip…..
    …..the amazing colour and size of the pitch as you emerged on to the East Stand upper tier. Television shrinks the playing field so much.
    …..being disappointed when there was a goal and I wasn’t paying attention, no action replay, missed it forever.

    Sadly, I’ve no idea when it was but I think it was a pre-season game or testimonial and I must have been very small.

  10. Red Arse says:

    Morning Jamie, 🙂

    Excellently written and will appeal to all of us as it reflects each of our own rite of passage into the world of the footie fan. 🙂

  11. Red Arse says:

    Morning People, 🙂

    Good to see the AA’ers are up and about and as cheerful as ever!

  12. Rasp says:

    Morning RA,

    I’ve just had a look on NN and can quite honestly say that apart from Jamie’s ‘honest’ article, everyone else is speculating, on the possibilty that a rumour might just be 100% absolute fact from a secret source 😛

  13. WiganGooner says:

    @ RA 10:35

    Speak for yourself 😛 My mum didn’t have to tell me to go…I was begging!! 🙂

    *coughs* mummy’s boy 😛

    hehehe 😀


  14. Red Arse says:

    Evonne, 🙂

    You enquired what the reason might be for Usmanov continuing to buy Arsenal shares.

    GIE, gave a good option for why he might do so, although that is obviously speculation as he says.

    The way things stand, Usmanov is not on the Board of Directors and therefore has no more rights to Company/Club information than anyone else, such as you or me.
    However, if he reaches the magic 30% of shares mark, he will also be entitled to additional club info, including the monthly accounts of Arsenal plc, (often referred to as the Management Accounts, which are not normally available to anyone other than club/company officials).

    From these monthly accounts, he will be able to see as much info as good old Silent Stan, and that will protect his investment, give him a ‘heads up’ as to what is currently going on, and also keep SS honest.

    An interesting by product of all this, is that the only way Usmanov can get these shares is from those Arsenal fans who hold a small number of shares in their own right, and who are prepared to take the undoubtedly very good money he is offering. This ‘fan shareholding’ has dropped from approximately 10% to about 6% and dropping.

    We all have our price as they say!

    Sorry you asked now, I bet! 🙂

  15. Red Arse says:

    You are a rascal WG, I’ll give you mummy’s boy!! 🙂

    Each rite of passage may be different, but Jamie’s article stirred memories in my mind of being told by my mother about my father taking me to my first match, dressed all in a knitted red outfit, altho’ I was too young to remember.

    I do remember being taken to my first match at about 6 y.o. to see Arsenal at Chelsea tho’.
    Having previously been to a number of the NY Giants, NFL games, I was at a bit of a loss, at first, as to why the pitch looked different and nobody threw the ‘foot’ ball. 🙂

    Off to read your WG Post so it better be good! 🙂

  16. evonne says:

    Jamie – brilliant article, in a Nick Hornby style. I am sure you will do well with your book

  17. evonne says:

    GiE, RA and 26 – ta very much, I know I can rely on you guys. Makes sense now, ie Usmanov pushing for the 30%

  18. goonermichael says:

    “He (Fabregas) is doing everything he can to come (here)”,the Barcelona president told Catalan station TV3 on Monday night.

    “Guardiola knows the values of players and Cesc’s is less than €40million. Barcelona will offer less and if they (Arsenal) don’t accept, then he won’t come. Pep knows the club is not well-off in terms of money”.

    Can’t we report them? If they are not prepared to pay the money they should just shut up.

  19. WiganGooner says:


    I wonder whether we have been so tidy and upfront with our own transfers…there must be some reason why we never report anyone for tapping up our players…I think Barca have a dossier on us and threaten us with it.

    Crass speculation, but it would offer an answer as to why we are so submissive.


  20. Paddy Jones says:

    Excellent Article Jamie boy! Keep us posted on the book progress 🙂

  21. Jamie says:

    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for your kind responses to the article. I think public opinion over hypes a team’s downside. For instance, that side were tagged as boring, they weren’t. The current team are tagged as gutless and they aren’t. Did we not have the best away record last year? If not close. You do get that being gutless. Inexperienced maybe.
    By the way Mummy’s boy is probably a fair point, certainly back then.
    Does anyone else have a funny first game story?

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Maybe Barca are waiting to splash out on Neymar or can’t match Arsenal’s valuation and will get him cheaply in two years. Me, haven’t got a clue.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    By the way, the S.American final is tomorrow night for all onlinefooty fans. Is it on Sky?

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry, done you a wrong, its not on liveonlinefooty. Bollocks, frankly.

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You would not want to be called Frank would you.

  26. Rasp says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Thanks again for the article, by the end of the day it will have received about 1,000 hits.

    You’ll be aware that the clamour in the blogworld is for news on transfers. I could have renamed your article with a cheap title like …… ‘Arsenal recruit a 6 year old’

    It would have received ten times as many visits together with some abusive responses, but since it was so well written and all your own work and we are not that kind of site, I thought better of it!

    It’s a sad fact that many really good articles fail to receive the readership they deserve because they are competing against sites that carry advertising and so will be as misleading as it takes to get the hits.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Why haven’t we signed the dribbley one from Lille yet. I want to celebrate something and run around with my shirt over my head.

  28. WiganGooner says:

    A good title is like a hook to a fish, you use it to entice people to your article.

    Least, that’s the way I roll 🙂 But then, I still can’t get on NewsNow…so I’m always flapping about to get somebody to read my stuff.


  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nah Wigan, you don’t want to bother with all that Hits nonsense. Who cares? AA readers are all that matter and they see through all that cheap “Pak Choi” style prostitution bullshit. Quality not quantity.
    Signed: The Hypocrite. 🙂

  30. Rasp says:

    I agree WG,

    But there is a fine line between protecting the integrity of the site and doing justice to an article. In hindsight, I wish I’d given Jamie the choice of a more enticing title, but his post was honest and heartfelt and it seemed a bit cheap.

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A signed copy of Jamie’s book will find pride of place on my bookshelves, and that’s what really matters!

  32. Rasp says:

    😆 Micky,

    Actually, henceforth let it be known that anyone who submits a post has the choice of us running with their chosen title or letting me come up with some outrageously misleading hookline.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Jamie,
    Here’s a brilliant idea. Book launch before a home game at The Tavern.

  34. WiganGooner says:


    Heheh very true, but I need to justify me buying my domain to the Mrs somehow 😀 She is happy if she can see some hits to show that its being read otherwise I get earache 🙂

    @ Rasp

    I 100% agree with you, the title has to be relevant to the content of the article and not just a Hit grabber, but a well written title can be the difference between a huge article with a massive readership and one that gets lost.

    I wrote an article about Tomas Rosicky and it got thousands upon thousands of hits I think it was something like “Tomas Rosicky, the master of the one-touch game” and it had a massive readership. I have no reason for it, but it seemed to drag folks in.

    Compare that to “Will the wounded animal strike” based on Arsenal’s reaction to a loss and that didn’t do very well at all.

    In terms of quality of content, both are very similar but had different take-ups from readers.

    I just find it interesting to see what draws an interest from Bloghounds like us and all of the other readers.


  35. Rasp says:

    True WG,

    Your article for AA on Pat Rice has received over 30,000 hits and they’re still coming.

  36. WiganGooner says:

    Blimey…that is a surprise and a welcome one.

    Totally blown away by it to be honest. Thanks AA 🙂 You make me feel all warm, fluffy and wanted 🙂

    heheh 😀


  37. Rasp says:

    Tomorrow’s headline…. ‘Arsène Wenger ate my Hamster’ ……

  38. WiganGooner says:

    ‘Martin Keown called me a Horse-faced knut’

    ‘Mobile phone sex scandal featuring ex-Gunner Ashley Cole’

    Oh we could have such fun…too bad we’ve got morals on ‘ere.



  39. WiganGooner says:

    ‘Pak Choi ate my mum’

    ‘I had a baby with Christiano Ronaldo and all I got was this T-Shirt’

    I’m sorry, I’ll stop now..:D


  40. Red Arse says:


    In answer to your question; “Why haven’t we signed the dribbley one from Lille yet?” I have spoken to Arsenal’s PR guy and he says they are still looking for a big enough bib! 🙂

  41. WiganGooner says:

    ‘An Armchair ate my brother Neil whilst he was watching Arsenal’


  42. WiganGooner says:


    Quality 🙂 I suggest they get one with the drip tray so that if he drops his food it doesn’t go on the floor….Arsene is a stickler for cleanliness.


  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well that’s cleared that up then.

  44. goonermichael says:

    The whole fifa debacle is such a stitch up. warner is an ally of bladder. They’ve dropped the charges against him and he’s thier star witness aginst bin hammam. He’ll be back at hi old job within 18 months.

  45. dandan says:

    Morning all: Very good article Jamie, well done.

    I thought one or two regulars might recognise this.

    After 35 years of marriage, a husband and wife went for marriage counseling. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the years they had been married. On and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs she had endured.

    Finally, after allowing this for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and after asking the wife to stand, he embraced and kissed her long and passionately as her husband watched -with a raised eyebrow.

    The woman shut up and quietly sat down as though in a daze.

    The therapist turned to the husband and said, ‘this is what your wife needs at least 3 times a week. Can you do this?’

    ‘Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, I play golf.’

  46. Big Raddy says:

    DD. That cheered me up!

    Jamie. Fine post and I wish you luck with your book. Your writing style is relaxed and enjoyable.

    My first game is lost in the cobwebbed depth of time. I think it was against Stoke at Highbury in the early ’60s and Stanley Matthews was playing which would make me about 10, though I cannot honestly remember. What I do recall is the overwhelming sensation of climbing up all those stairs to the East Stand Upper and being awed by the view when I first saw the pitch.

    I still get the buzz al these years later.

  47. Hi all

    Well done Jamie on your first post. What amused me the first time I took my son to a game was him telling me that he couldn’t hear the commentary – that’s what Sky sports has done to the youngsters 😉

    I can’t stick around at the moment but we do need posts for this week please.

  48. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy,

    I thought you’d be bound to pick up on the “Bands with Guitars would form the other part of my youth” reference at the end of Jamie’s post. Come on be honest, House of the Rising Sun was the first chord progression you learned 😛

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Of course you are right, and I still play those chords and everyone still recognises them!! Same with Streets of London 😦

    I was going to write that like Jamie my life got diverted by S,D & R&R, but felt it was an invitation for old boys (and girls) reminiscences

  50. Red Arse says:


    I liked that, and had not heard it before! 🙂

    Jokes I have heard, read or gleaned over the years, I have either committed to memory, (not always reliable with the punchline 🙂 ) or write down, or put on the computer.

    I frequently forget them overtime, so they often give me another laugh when I look them up, because I did not remember them from the first time.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Jamie, great, nostalgic post. Give me quality above quantity any time!!

    My first game was a Roda JC away game at PSV Eindhoven. My dad and uncle took me along. I also remember not seeing very much, and being sick after the game (too much Fanta orange and Frankfurthers in a bun). Other than that, I cannot remember anything. Your memory is a lot better and welcome to AA! 🙂

  52. Red Arse says:

    Rasp and BR,

    You have probably buggered off, but I demand you return and give me an apology!!

    Ever since you chatted about music this p.m., I suddenly had Roy Orbison incessantly playing in my head that nostalgic love song “In Dreams”.
    You Know, the one that goes;

    A candy colored clown they call the sandman
    Tip toes to my room every night
    Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper
    ‘Go to sleep everything will be alright’

    I close my eyes
    Then I drift away
    Into the magic night
    I softly sway

    Oh smile and pray
    like dreamers do
    then I fall asleep
    and dream of you

    In dreams – I walk with you
    In dreams – I talk to you
    In dreams – you’re mine

    All of the time
    We’re together
    In dreams —- in dreams

    But just before the dawn
    I awake and find you gone

    I can’t help it — I can’t help it
    If I cry

    I remember
    that you said goodbye
    To end all these things

    And I’ll be happy in my dreams
    Only in dreams
    In beautiful dreams

    Actually, you don’t owe me an apology, at all.
    It brings back some wistful and sad memories, but I love the song and that fabulous Orbison voice!! 🙂

  53. Red Arse says:


    For the first time in my life I actually sang along as I typed, with all the necessary pauses and elisions as Roy belted out his song.

    But wait …….. suddenly Brook Benton chimed in with “The same One” — another master piece, but I will spare you the words. Now that man had a terrific mellifluous voice! Wow 🙂

    I must visit your nostalgic song blog again!! 🙂

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Willie Nelson singing Always on my Mind.

    Soppy but top quality.

    RA. Synchronicity. This morning I was watching the Big O with Bruce Springsteen. What a singer & In Dreams is one of my faves.

  55. Herb'sArmy says:

    The Big ‘O’, RA, what a legend.

  56. Red Arse says:


    Welcome back my man! 🙂

    I only came upon Roy O late in the day but you are spot on, what a truly great performer, I loved his voice and the high notes he could reach from the second I heard him! 🙂

    BR, I have STILL got that bottle of Dom. I must share it with you one day when I am back from all this sicky business!! 🙂 I almost wrote ‘if’ but that is too negative! 🙂

  57. Herb'sArmy says:

    Apparently RA, Elvis rated him as the best singer in the world because of his tremendous vocal range.

  58. Red Arse says:


    Now you have got me doing Willie Nelson’s Always on my mind!! Darn. 🙂 I love that too.

    Maybe I didn’t love
    Quite as often as i could have
    And maybe i didn’t treat you
    Quite as good as I should have

    If I made you feel seconf best
    Girl I’m sorry I was blind
    You were always on my mind
    You were always on my mind

    We have got to do this more often!! 🙂

  59. Red Arse says:

    I missed out ‘you’ in the first line above, but then you knew! 😉

    Herb, I never heard that, but coming from Elvis that is one hell of a compliment.

    It’s odd but i never really think of famous singers (stars) having their own favs, but I suppose it’s only natural.

    Pretty quiet on the footie front unless you are into spurious rumours, herb, but i suspect like me you can’t help notice them and then dismiss them as mainly rubbish.

    As Raddy said earlier, we really need to buy a class player from ‘Harrods’ and not from ‘Boots’, (no disrespect) or even i will feel let down by the club.

  60. Herb'sArmy says:

    It bores me silly RA, being linked with any one of about 50 players, usually with no real substance. As many have said, it’s ‘silly season’. Agree with you 100% on the ‘Harrods’ signing. It’s about time a club with our historical standing made a huge statement of intent to placate a lot of disillusioned fans.

  61. Red Arse says:

    To be candid Herb, I am hoping that there will be more than one ‘marquee’ signing. (Hate that word really, but everyone uses it at the mo’) 😦

    If Cesc goes, and my money says he will, it becomes essential that he is replaced with a “top, top player” as Arsene Wenger usually puts it, in addition — in addition — to the transfers we have been promised, even if Cesc does not go. If you understand my garbled English!

  62. Herb'sArmy says:

    Read the brilliant tribute to Bergkamp yesterday. A signing of that quality would get the supporters believing again, but has AW got it in him to make such a high-profile signing?

  63. evonne says:

    Herb – of course he has! Sadly there are not many Bergkamps around

  64. Red Arse says:


    It is undoubtedly true that we have never replaced Dennis or Thierry.

    I used to be as proud as a peacock when they were with us, simply because no one else, whatever their money, had anyone like them.

    Our current lads have many good attributes and are in the main extremely skillful, but it cannot be argued that other teams have players of a similar ability.

    I think what i am saying is that apart from Cesc, RVP and (sometimes) Nasri, we don’t have ‘unique’ players like Dennis and Titi were, and even the other three are matched elsewhere by Tevez, Modric etc.

    Arsene needs to address this, (it won’t be easy – it may not be possible – but he must be seen to be trying) and then we will have great success and the fans will feel united again. (unfortunate word ‘united’ but you know what i mean). 🙂

  65. Red Arse says:


    It’s great you are around, and i look forward to seeing your comments, (and sometimes disagreeing with them), 🙂

    Got to go now tho’, but Evonne will keep you company as everyone else seems to have been lulled to sleep by our song lyrics – well mine!! 🙂

    Tomorrow!! 🙂

  66. goonermichael says:

    I had a car
    it was old and kind
    I gave it my mind
    and then it disappeared

    That’s more my cup of tea

  67. goonermichael says:

    I agree about a marquee signing but I don’t think it will happen.

  68. Big Raddy says:

    No unique players apart from Cesc, RvP and Nasri? What about the Boy Wonder Jack Wilshere?

    Or the future best GK in the World?

    Or Diaby and Eboue? They are unique!!

  69. evonne says:

    GM – haha ha ha 🙂

    Red Arse – I am going too, but the boys will be here after 8pm with the hottest debates after 10pm

    What do you guys make of the ridiculous Chelski new signing, I mean the manager

  70. Big Raddy says:

    GM. We all agree.

    Don’t know that lyric, is it one of your own?

  71. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. I fully expected him to stay at Porto and become our new manager after AW. Not going to happen now. He will do very well at Chelsea (unfortunately)

  72. goonermichael says:

    It was the late, great Marc Bolan Raddy

  73. goonermichael says:

    Spaceball ricochet

  74. Jamie says:

    Chuffed at how many of you enjoyed the article and how positive you have been.
    I will sort out the title thing. I have a habit of using old song titles as headlines. Which doesn’t grab much attention. Would gladly write anytime if you get short of articles, but someone else can choose the title!

    Ps Why don’t owls mate in the rain? Cos it’s too wet to woo. Have that!

  75. Hi Jamie

    We love song titles as headlines if you look back through the archives you’ll see we’ve used loads.

    Have I missed your musical leanings – favourite band/bands?

  76. evonne says:

    Jamie – oh gosh, now you got them going!! They are all singing in the rain loons, they nicest kind of loons of course. Oh, and clever and good looking loons, but loons nevertheless 🙂

  77. Red Arse says:


    Get it On, Dragons Ear’s, Chariots of Silk, I love to Boogie — all with T Rex! 🙂
    Good stuff!!

    Don’t really know much about his solo work.

    Raddy, I was aware of the oxymoron of using ‘unique’ to describe more than one player. 🙂
    That’s why I put the word in inverted commas. Can I plead artistic licence professor? 🙂

  78. Red Arse says:


    Jamie is innocent. It was the Rasper and Big Raddy’s fault for putting songs in my head. 🙂

    At the next Pub meeting, before an Arsenal game, they should be made to sing “Sweet Charity” or some other suitably effete song as a forfeit! 🙂

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, Good to see you in such a splendid mood, and good to see Herb back as well!

  80. Herb'sArmy says:

    Thanks RA, think I need to tone down and moderate etc. Hi TA,. I’ve been tuning into the Posts, but feel it only neccessary to remark if I have something valid to contribute to any on-going debate. Nice of you lads to give me a warm welcome back.

  81. Jamie says:

    I like 60s stuff, Beatles, Kinks, Stones and the 90s bands that copied them especially Oasis. I like the rat pack stuff too. Bit of anything really. Music with a big chorus I guess.

  82. London says:

    Nice one Jamie

    As I was reading the post I couldn’t help but think of the 1932 film Freaks
    whose signature song goes like this:

    We accept you, we accept you
    One of us, one of us.

  83. gunnerN5 says:

    Went to the Doctor –
    He told me I only had six months to live and then gave me my bill.
    I told him that I couldn’t pay – so he gave me another six months.

    There’s a ringing in my ears – then don’t answer.

    A vagrant told me he hadn’t eaten in two days
    I told him to force himself

    Another vagrant to me he’d forgotten how food tasted
    I told him it hadn’t changed.

    There was a girl knocking on my hotel door all night long
    finally I’d had enough and let her out.

    A bomb fell on Italy
    and slid off.

    I’ve been in love with the same woman for 40 years
    I haven’t told my wife yet.

    My wife will buy anything that’s marked down
    Last week she bought an escalator.

    I had a weird nightmare – I thought Dolly Parton was my mum
    And she was feeding me by bottle………………….

    Don’t blame me blame Henny Youngman
    They are all his jokes….

  84. dandan says:

    Evening AA’rs given today’s post and your talk of the Big O I used to go and watch him every year as Caesars Palace in Luton. So thought I would paste this one which you probably wont remember but it was a originally by the Brothers Four or Kingston Trio cant remember for sure anyway here is Roy’s version, It is the song for Jamie’s post.

  85. evonne says:

    Oh my dear God…………..see what I mean Jamie 🙂 But wait, Chary, Kelsey and Sharkey are yet to comment 🙂

    Raddy – what do you know about the Chelsea new manager? Why do you think he is so good? I was trying to find out about him, but his resume is ok, but not terribly impressive

  86. Geoff Strong says:


    Now I’m ‘crying’. Not heard that version before, must download it.

  87. SharkeySure says:

    Oi ticket thief…calling my name in vain again !!

    Cracking debut Jamie, although I shouldn’t be too surprised by your quality writing considering you have a book in mind.

    My first game was Arsenal Liverpool 1977, I was 10 and my mate John John was 9. We took the bus from Camberwell to the Elephant and Castle, then the tube to Arsenal. Barely remember much other than calling their number 7 Kenny Dogshit. I was a lovely little lad back then.

    One thing still that gets me even now, is that first sight of the pitch. Fantastic. I love football stadia, and I haven’t really been to enough of them. On the flip side, of the 20 or so that I have been to, around 15 of them have been overseas, with only the Nou Camp actually being an Arsenal game.

  88. SharkeySure says:

    Re the transfer news. I find it all so boring. Gervinho should have been announced already, Odemwingie apparently wants more money…yawn yawn, yawn. When its done it’ll be done.

    Occasionally I’m asked about Cesc staying or going, or some other transfer gossip, and I really struggle to pull together any sort of half decent answer, such is my apathy.

    I remember in the past on ‘another site’ watching people actually get irate and abusive triggered by nothing more than a lazy headline in a red top. Complete madness. Fair do’s it can simulate a discussion on a players merits, but when its used to beat the club or manager as though it were fact, I start to despair.

    I’d rather read about bees, Elvis’s favourite singers, Canadian sightseeing, Raddy and Mickey’s recipes, the Peggy Sue’s, SkyDiving for Charity, the ailing bloggers who sneak a laptop under the covers to keep us entertained, tales of the most severe and invasive medical procedures known to man. I also love the respect afforded to all, the camaraderie, the welcoming nature, and most of all, the humour.

    I love this site.

  89. See theres three things that have p***ed me off today:

    1) Jamie stealing in on mine and Carlito’s young blogger status, Jamie has definitely come in younger than me, Carlito may be closer.

    2) Not being around much to comment on the article.

    3) finding out that Sharkey is ten years older than me yet probably looks ten years younger 😦 time to bin the evil sticks I suppose).

    Great article Jamie, my first was one year earlier than you but I was a few years older, as I have recounted on this blog I actually went in as a West Ham fan (I was 9 and had been easily influenced by my Grandad buying me an West Ham kit after the 1980 cup final) and my Dad and brother made sure I came out a Gooner.

    One of the best things about this article was a revelation that either none of you have noticed or I am an amazing attention to details man.

    Have a look at the club crest on the top right of the programme, look familiar?

  90. Jamie says:

    In Chelsea country and drinking vodka with packets of sherbet. I’m sure work will be fun.

  91. GiE – how can you see what it is? Ok what is it?

    Steady there Jamie 😉

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    DanDan, you soft sod! 🙂 I imagine you now at an open fire place with a couple of labradors at home, smoking cigars and sippig contently from a glass of cognac!

  93. SharkeySure says:

    Ha Ha GiE…only ten years younger…lol

    Your inaugural post is one of my all time faves, mainly for its personal nature. Shame the photo wasn’t in black and white, but I don’t suppose they took too many like that in the mid 80’s.

    I thin it was Gunner N5’s first post that got me going, that had a couple of b&w pics I think. One of which was Highbury in the 30/40’s. Magnificent.

    I keep telling telling Rasp and Peaches that a b&w should be mandatory on every post…do they listen..??

    I’m going off this site

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Sharkey @10.08 great, super comment – I agree with everything you say there. Why get upset about transfer RUMOURS?! Life’s too short and there are so many other great things to get interested in, as you illustrate with your last paragraph. If and when a player is signed or leaves, that’s the moment when we can get really excited again. 😉

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb, I was getting worried you had given up on us! 😦 Good to see that you are back. Let’s hope we will have something concrete to talk about soon 😉

  96. SharkeySure says:

    Cheers TA.

    Worst of all is when we all know its a done deal, but it still drags on for weeks on end b efore it seems to be ‘finalised’. I think both Nasri and Vermaelen’s transfers were like that.

    Anyways….bed calling, night all.

  97. SharkeySure says:

    One last thing…just read GiE’s epic again. Long post…loved every word …again.

    ““If you want to go to see live football you can come here, I’m never taking you to Upton Park again”. !!!!!

  98. Herb'sArmy says:

    Just the slow summer lull, TA, where no news is good news. Enjoyed the various quality Posts, and the responses. I am reigning myself in a little and not getting so involved after being accused of being a ‘Manc-lover’.

  99. Evening chaps – anyone fancy stringing together a few words to start tomorrow off? We don’t have a post at the moment so anything would be very welcome.

  100. Hi Herb – nice to have you back 🙂

  101. Herb'sArmy says:

    Thank you Peaches.

  102. Peaches check your inbox….not greatest but it’ll fill a hole.

    And by the way right click on the image and open in new window and zoom, you’ll notice it looks very similar to this coming seasons 125 year crest, obviously being 1986 it was 100 year anniversary.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb, I agree that is an awful insult – one of the worst swearwords I have ever heard: I’dd rather somebody calls me a FT than a Manc Lover. Your passion for Arsenal and knowledge of our team cannot be doubted; you are just disappointed in what Wenger has achieved recently which makes you a minority on AA, but as you will have noticed, you are not the only one with this view, even on AA.

    Have you ever considered writing a post yourself, for example about mr Chapman himself?

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, that is very impressive! The eye of an eagle.

  105. Herb'sArmy says:

    I would say confused more than disappointed TA. To persevere with a GK of Almunia’s dubious quality is questionable at the very least. To continually say we are close whist watching all our rivals spend significant amounts and not show the same ambition is baffling. AW also stated that Denilson and Diaby would become world-class, which I think has somewhat backfired. He completely under-estimated Vermaelen’s injury, and left us with insufficient cover, which he could have rectified in January. And he has a worrying tendancy to over-rely on players, as we saw to our detriment with Fabregas against Barca. And the fact that we lost Diarra, Flamini and Gilberto in the space of six months without adequately finding replacements. So different from the manager who arrived full of energy and purpose in Oct 1996. Take care of the little things and the big things take care of themselves, but ignoring the little things can lead to disasterous consequences.

  106. Herb whilst some of that is fair, most of the problems weren’t of Wengers making. Diarra asked to leave, he couldn’t get a look in with the form Flamini was in, do you keep unhappy players? Then Flamini let his contract run down and took the coin, a salary we would never have paid. People complain now about the money we allegedly pay to Denilson and the like but I think the reason why is the aftermath of the Flamini deal, not rewarding him as a squad player led to him being in that position.

    Barca away Cesc said he was fit, he has since admitted it was a big mistake to play but it was always his decision and I think its harsh to blame Wenger, many players from many other clubs have let teammates down doing the same over the years. Look at Huth and Etherington in the FA Cup final.

    Our rivals may have spent big amounts in recent windows but not many yet this one….Liverpool splashed the cash for Henderson but having watched the recent U21 tournament I am at a loss to understand how he is worth £20million, United have bought the 19 year old Jones for reported big money for a young player. How would our fans react to the signing of another “youth prospect”?

    We are all waiting for the first big move, it’ll happen soon enough, my biggest fear is Wenger follows the demands of the fans, as I commented the other day what happens if we sign Cahill and Samba and nothing improves?

  107. Jamie says:


  108. Herb'sArmy says:

    after the way Dalglish left Liverpool in ’91, I’m surprised at how readily he has been welcomed back. So far for me, his only decent signing is Suarez. I think it’s time for us to show some bravery in the transfer market instead of signing Bosman’s and unknown French defenders. I don’t expect us to spend like Man Utd, Chelsea or Man City, just enough in the required areas to make us real contenders again. If we do that I think most fans will be back on-side again.

  109. Gooner in Exile says:

    You are probably right Herb and I agree one or two signings are necessary. Hopefully the right ones come in.

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    4:06am! I thought I was the only one here locked into some hideous vortex of a crazy-man sleep cycle. What time zone are you in, ‘cos it does not look like Norwich to me?

  111. evonne says:

    GiE – when do you sleep???? What’s the title of your virgin post, I’d like to read it.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Genuine question Peaches/Rasp.
    When we scribble postages, are we meant to come up with “hit attracting” headlines? I know I joke about this, but it is your site.
    I would not mind attempting to write a thought inspiring post, and yet aim for a “record low” hits tally. Its the competitive animal within.

  113. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning Evonne/Micky

    I had just pulled an all nighter to get caught up after my holiday. So was just listening to the Dawn chorus before getting my head down for an couple of hours.

    I don’t do spoilers Evonne. And anyway it may not be up to standard and so I might get a black circle and must try harder rather than a gold star. Altho Peaches sounded desperate last night so I’m guessing however bad it is it’ll get posted. Hopefully it’ll open debate.

  114. evonne says:

    Guten Morgen Micky – just keep on writing, I will open it every few secs to bump up the figures

  115. Gooner in Exile says:

    And anyway Evonne how did you know I had a virgin post….or did you just guess because I live in Norfolk. We tend to tie one up a week for sacrifice here 🙂

    Not sure what the policy is in Mickys part of the world.

  116. evonne says:

    GiE – you!!! You know perfectly well what I mean, what’s the title?? please…

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We take a very liberal view on sacraficial ceremonies. Surrounded by Druids, Wizards and Fairies as we are.

  118. evonne says:

    Micky – What, in Germany??

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I tried that “Guten Morgen” thing here once myself, and got pulled up by RA. As far as foreign languages and travel are concerned, I always think that as long as I am armed with “My slippers are on fire” in local tongue, then one can’t go far wrong.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Back later.

  121. evonne says:

    bis bald Micky

  122. Big Raddy says:

    “a virgin post” 😀

  123. Rasp says:

    Morning Mickey,

    In answer to your question @ 8:07. I think a good article should always have a good headline so as long as we are not blatantly misleading, we should try to come up with something that gets bloggers clicking!

    I am pretty good at writing headlines (although I say it myself) and will always be prepared to offer an author some alternatives if they’re stuck for ideas.

  124. evonne says:


    you didn’t answer my question about new chavs manager – what makes you think he is good?

  125. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp feel free to change the headline of my latest submission.

    Not only has my virgin post been revealed I have now exposed myself as a click whore 😀

  126. evonne says:

    Jeez christ almighty!!
    cannot get any sense out of this lot

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne. Invincible at Porto, who won their title by a record margin. Current Europa League Champions. Won the Treble in Portugal.

    Trained by Mourinho. Committed to playing expansive football

    and only 33 y.o.

    Not sure that Chelsea is the right move for him. A club willing to invest time into their manager (such as AFC) would have been better.

  128. Rasp says:

    Morning GiE,

    I think your title is fine and will attract plenty of interest.

  129. evonne says:

    Raddy – cheers
    Hmmmmm…..Portugal has only a small league, it is easier to win a treble there than it is over here.
    Trained by Mourinho – is he mouthy?

    No, it still is a shock move, I hope it all goes tits up for Chavs

  130. Rasp says:

    New Post ………….

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  134. father says:

    well james i remember it well great years

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